9/11 REMEMBERED: Ridgeites honor those lost on September 11

September 15, 2011 Denise Romano
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Ten years later, hundreds of Ridgeites gathered in CannonballPark to begin an emotional evening of remembrance, led byCouncilmember Vincent Gentile and State Senator Marty Golden.

We are here to honor those who were so brutally killed andripped from our lives, to mourn those killed since in Afghanistanand Iraq, Gentile said. This is an anniversary that no onewanted.

Dozens of community activist groups, City Council SpeakerChristine Quinn, District Attorney Charles Hynes, borough presidentChief of Staff Charles Scissura, Congressmember Michael Grimm,Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, City Comptroller JohnLiu, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, Assemblymember PeterAbbate, Colonel Michael Gould, members of the Parks Department, the68th Precinct’s new commander Captain Richard DiBlasio, members ofthe Boy and Girl Scouts and junior ROTCs, as well as rank-and-filearea residents were on hand for the ceremony in Cannonball Park,the march along the waterway and the candlelight vigil at the 69thStreet Pier that capped off the night.

Madeline Fodera, of Dyker Heights, was one of those inattendance. I came out to remember – I was there that day, shesaid, her eyes filled with grief, adding that she worked in LowerManhattan at the Chase Building. I feel sad and upset.

Dorothea Monteleone lost her best friend, David Scott Agnes, whoworked at Cantor Fitzgerald that day. Ten years ago, I lost mybest friend, she said tearfully. I am here to honor him and allthe other people that passed.

Martin Marina, of Dyker Heights, is an X-ray technician atLutheran Medical Center. I was working that day, waiting forpeople to come in, filled with adrenaline, he said while chokingup. We were in the emergency room waiting, but no one came. Therewas no one to help. I feel so emotional. It was a day we will neverforget.

Trish Coraci came from Staten Island to show her support. Icame to memorialize 9/11, she said. I didn’t lose anyone, thankGod, but I still feel very sad about it.

This part of Brooklyn really did suffer, Scissura said, notingthat 23 former students at Xaverian High School had perished in theattacks. But imagine if the world acted like Brooklyn, there wouldbe peace in the world.

Students from 20 local schools had previously made over 3,000posters memorializing those that died under Gentile’s direction.Earlier in the day, the pictures were put on display by volunteersalong the path by the waterfront for people to see as they made thesolemn trek to 69th Street.

As mourners reached the pier at twilight, they were handed whitecarnations and candles as part of the Candlelight Vigil. The USSNew York was docked across the Narrows in Staten Island, the newOne World Trade Center glowed red, white and blue and the Lights toHeaven shined brightly through the mist – a true symbol of Americanresilience. Community Board 11 Chairperson Bill Guarinello servedas the emcee while the Xaverian High School Band played.

We stand here with pain in our hearts, tears in our eyes andimages that we saw on that day, said a very emotional Golden.Citizens were taken from us by the hands of cowards. We wereattacked for the values that we live our lives by: life, libertyand the pursuit of happiness. These people woke up and went to work- they did nothing more than that.

Gould gave a rousing speech before he led the Pier in chantingUSA! USA!

What I feel tonight is pride – I am proud to be an American,he said. We remember, we feel sad and angry, but we also feelpride.

The names of all who perished that day were projected on ascreen, followed by a 21-gun salute, courtesy of the U.S. Army.When taps was played, there was not a dry eye on the pier. Then, abunch of nine and a bunch of 11 yellow balloons were released intothe night sky.

To close out the ceremony, attendants tossed their carnationsand candles in the water as a gift to those who died.

May we never be afraid to call this land our land from sea toshining sea, Golden said. May we hold our heads up high as wewalk and live in freedom.

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